Book of the Dead Poem from history of souls book

Book of the Dead Poem from history of souls book

Book of the Dead

These poems do not go, you know,
through the spaces they were meant,
do not flow into the looks askance
or foliate into proper poundings . . .

they do not, do not do so, you know,
but all the while they mark and notate, notch
and draw, hoping to catch the notice of a god
while my soul can scurry unobserved to

somewhere I cannot seem to imagine.

Poet Ward Kelley’s Notes: The Egyptian Book of the Dead was a compilation of various charms and incantations meant to convince or trick the gods into allowing the soul to enter paradise. Follow Ward Kelley at Medium.com 

history of souls – 2nd Edition
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Pushing, Pushing  Poem about Judy Garland

Pushing, Pushing Poem about Judy Garland

Pushing, Pushing

You were driven, you know

(why, oh why, can’t I?)

but never did locate the correct

way out, or proper note to score

the flight all the way, all the way.

Something hides, pushing, pushing,

from within your being, while your fame

and marriages and suicides

propelled you through

all our decades like a wiry wisp . . .

you knew the real impellent

generates at the core of your soul.

There, there boils the fury

of being . . . of residing on this side,

a tantrum against this shackle of body;

so it never mattered very much

if you sang out right, or married right,

or performed to expectations;

what mattered was the expression

of fury channeled into some acceptable

means to be heard or seen

around this imperfect world.

Why, oh why, oh why

can’t this vision of soul

let you go?

Why can’t you . . .

you knew all along

you couldn’t . . .

you knew none of us really could . . .

yet you were the wisp

who still yearned

out your trembling question,

why, oh why, can’t I.

This poem is from history of souls by Ward Kelley.

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More From Ward Kelley

Ward Kelley Artists

You can listen free to music with lyrics that are also written by the author of this poem, Ward Kelley Artist.

Wizard of Oz

Judy Garland was the assumed name of Frances Gumm (1922-1969). She made her stage debut at age three, spent several years in vaudeville, then at thirteen signed with MGM. She made many memorable movies, most famous of which was “The Wizard of Oz,” where she played a role originally intended for Shirley Temple. Garland’s personal life was usually in turmoil. The studio put her on diet pills, and before long she also needed pills to sleep and others to stay awake. By age twenty-one, she was seeing a psychiatrist regularly. She married five times, and endured several career disasters. On June 22, 1969, she was found dead on the floor of her London apartment, the coroner attributing her death to an accidental overdose of sleeping pills. Actor Ray Bolger, the scarecrow from Oz, commented, “She just plain wore out.” 

history of souls – 2nd Edition

history of souls – 2nd Edition

$2.99
Author:
Genre: Poetry
Publisher: Ward Kelley
Publication Year: 2016
Format: Kindle
Length: 212
ASIN: B01KVNG9S2
Rating:

Poetry concerning magical realism, reincarnation and metaphysics.

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About the Book

Author, poet, and lyricist Ward Kelley is now offering a second version of history of souls. This book offers poetry that encompasses a number of themes:

Magical realism: Literature that looks at fables, myths, and allegory in the rational world.

Reincarnation: The philosophical and/or religious concept that the soul or spirit, after death, can begin a new life in a new body to learn new experiences and gain knowledge.

Metaphysics: A traditional branch of philosophy concerned with nature of being and the world that surrounds it.

This poetry book is divided into four parts:

Part one is called “Souls Alive” and contains poetry about famous people and/or events. There are poems about Joan of Arc, Sylvia Plath, Xerxes I ( a king of Persia), Akhenaton (a pharaoh of Egypt and husband of Nefertiti), Sandra Jones, Daniel DeFoe, Leo Tolstoy, and more…

Part two “Souls in Love”, Part three “Dead Souls”, and Part 4 “Reverse Prayer”, along with a special bonus chapter of lyrics inspired by history of souls by Ward Kelley and Don Whitaker album Gnarled Bones. Ward Kelley’s music business has grown into Wardco Studios, and the music uses many these poems as inspirations for lyrics and the music written for those lyrics. Listen free at WardKelleyArtists.com

Ward Kelley has seen his stories and poems appear in hundreds of journals worldwide. He is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. His full biography, awards, and publications can be found at http://ward-kelley.org/bio/ Follow Ward Kelley’s Amazon Authors page at https://www.amazon.com/Ward-Kelley/e/B01BTEJY8E, which includes his blog posts. Follow his blog at WardKelley.org

Examples Poem with interesting author notes:

Pushing, Pushing

You were driven, you know
(why, oh why, can’t I?)
but never did locate the correct
way out, or proper note to score
the flight all the way, all the way.

Something hides, pushing, pushing,
from within your being, while your fame
and marriages and suicides
propelled you through
all our decades like a wiry wisp . . .
you knew the real impellent
generates at the core of your soul.

There, there boils the fury
of being . . . of residing on this side,
a tantrum against this shackle of body;
so it never mattered very much
if you sang out right, or married right,
or performed to expectations;
what mattered was the expression
of fury channeled into some acceptable
means to be heard or seen
around this imperfect world.

Why, oh why, oh why
can’t this vision of soul
let you go?
Why can’t you . . .
you knew all along
you couldn’t . . .
you knew none of us really could . . .
yet you were the wisp
who still yearned
out your trembling question,
why, oh why, can’t I.

Judy Garland was the assumed name of Frances Gumm (1922-1969). She made her stage debut at age three, spent several years in vaudeville, then at thirteen signed with MGM. She made many memorable movies, most famous of which was “The Wizard of Oz,” in which she played the role of Dorothy, a role originally intended for Shirley Temple. Garland’s personal life was usually in turmoil. The studio put her on diet pills, and before long she also needed pills to sleep and others to stay awake. By age twenty-one, she was seeing a psychiatrist regularly. She married five times, and endured several career disasters. On June 22, 1969, she was found dead on the floor of her London apartment, the coroner attributing her death to an accidental overdose of sleeping pills. Actor Ray Bolger, the scarecrow from Oz, commented, “She just plain wore out.”

About the Author
Ward Kelley

Ward Kelley has seen his stories and poems appear in hundreds of journals world wide. He is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee whose publication credits include such journals as: Plainsongs, Karamu, Another Chicago Magazine, Strange Horizons, Spillway, GSU Review, Rattle, The Chaffin Journal, Midstream, Zuzu’s Petals, Ginger Hill, Sunstone, Pif, Whetstone, Melic Review, Thunder Sandwich, Potpourri and Skylark. The recipient of the Nassau Review Poetry Award for 2001, Kelley is also the author of “histories of souls,” a poetry collection, and he has an epic poem, “comedy incarnate” on CD and CD ROM.

Kelley holds a Masters of Creative Writing. He published two novels “Divine Murder” and “Keenly Alive, Tony.” He also published two management theory books, “Warehouse Productivity” (2005Distribution Group, New York NY), and “Zen of Warehouse Management” (2005Distribution Group, New York NY), under the name Pat Kelley.

Look Inside

Thou Has Nor Youth Nor Age Poem S. Eliot (1888-1965)

Poem from “history of souls” by Ward Kelley about author S. Eliot. 

I cannot bend this chord,

I cannot frame the sunlight

into a more succinct sound;

and this is what I found,

that certain things of the earth

must be taken as they come

from this ground we all walk.

 

We all rose up, you know,

all things pure, all forthcoming,

all must rise from the ground,

and this is what I found, or

meant, that all of us of earth

will catapult through air,

sizzling through the firmament.

 

And we can pound

and pound the songs

forthcoming, beat with fists

and bone and flesh,

pound and pound

the planet’s simple song,

but never will we bend

the chord that is our fate,

those of us who, once flying,

must now learn to burrow

into the ground.

 

Pound and pound, then

run this song from town

to sound of water, water,

pound and pound and pound,

throughout the simple town,

round and round,

and this is what, at last,

is right there to be found . . .

that our very souls—

the very end,

the very beginning—

are round and round

and round.

S. Eliot (1888-1965) was arguably the most influential poet of the 20th century. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Eliot was educated at Harvard, but then moved to England where he became a British citizen in 1927. Best known for his poems “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” and “The Waste Land,” Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1948. According to Eliot’s instructions, his tomb was engraved with the phrase, “in the beginning is my end, in the end is my beginning.” The title of the above poem was taken from the dedication to his poem “Gerontion.”

 

history of souls poetry
Ward Kelley

Ward Kelley

Author and Lyrics

THIS WEEKS BLOG POST

Annie Easily Unraveled Poem – About Anne Sexton

Annie Easily Unraveled Poem – About Anne Sexton

Anne Sexton (1928-1974) was an American poet known for her unadulterated chronicling of intimate and socially taboo subjects. She won the Pulitzer in 1967 for “Love or Die,” and gave her answer to that title in 1974 with her death by her own hand. She once wrote of frequent drinking dates at the Ritz with Sylvia Plath: “Often, very often, Sylvia and I would talk at length about our first suicides; at length, in detail, and in depth between the free potato chips. Suicide is, after all, the opposite of a poem.”

The Ancient Heart of Sandy – Sandy Denny

The Ancient Heart of Sandy – Sandy Denny

The Ancient Heart of Sandy

My photographs always appeared too sweet,
and I never managed to reflect accurate songs
from my ancient heart out through my two
sugary eyes. Even my girlish cheeks betrayed
an affection for the comforts of modern England.

But never was I betrayed by my heart, never by
that olden beast, for it was there that screams
and trials pumped, peasant wearies and crusades
jumped fiery words forth from quilled pens . . .
it was there that pulsed the great desire

of the race to rise somehow from this mud
of the breathing ones, after falling
and falling again and again back
into our slippery selves, yet always,
incessantly, finding a cause to rise.

Nay, nay, nay . . . yea, nay, nay,
this is our way to find ourselves along
in the midst of the great muddy battle
of what it means to be alone in the breathing,
and this was the way of my aged heart’s song.

Joan in the Fires
Sandy Denny (1947-1978), English folk singer, died tragically at a young age when she fell down the steps at a friend’s home and went immediately into a coma. She passed away four days later. One of the many songs she penned was an instrumental she co-authored, “The Lord Is In This Place, How Dreadful Is This Place.”
history of souls poetry

Listen to Music by Joan in the Fires

Play Wild Mouse
Play Folds
Play Sylvia Raises a Slender, White Hand
Play Variations on Emily
Play Primal Peals of Learning
Play Joan in the Fires
Play Song For the Morning
Play Make Me a Home
Play This Love
Play Cicero Thrusts His Head
Play Centurion Hesitates At the Lake
Play For You
Play Secret of Life
Play Everywhere I’ve Been
Play Bonus – Song For the Morning, acoustic

Joan in the Fires

Joan in the Fires

Folk Singer

Jessie Doyle is a Virginia singer/songwriter of folk, folk rock, and roots music, currently living in central Virginia. She released many of her own compositions, and fronts the Americana group, Folk Medicine. She recently launched a collaboration with writer/poet Ward Kelley, which can be found at Joan in the Fires.

Jessie is the consummate free spirit, whether in her music, choice of favored instruments (uke & banjo) or living style – she spent four years at the Virginia commune, Twin Oaks International Community, saying, ”It was a great four years in which I felt like I could really be myself. My time spent there is irreplaceable.”  …  READ MORE

history of souls second edition

history of souls by Ward Kelley.

Author, poet, and lyricist Ward Kelley is now offering a second version of "history of souls". This book offers poetry that encompasses a number of themes:

Magical realism: Literature that looks at fables, myths, and allegory in the rational world.

Reincarnation: The philosophical and/or religious concept that the soul or spirit, after death, can begin a new life in a new body to learn new experiences and gain knowledge.

Metaphysics: A traditional branch of philosophy concerned with nature of being and the world that surrounds it.

By Illinois, No Birds – Poem Trail of Tears

By Illinois, No Birds – Poem Trail of Tears

Stories long ascribed the penance of our race,

whispered by familiars with the netherworld . . .

the crows, the coyotes, and sometimes even a mallard;

they all at times returned with warnings from the land

of shadows concerning our sentence

for living with the wind.

We knew we were too free . . .

we understood our desires flew

wild, with the thoughts of our ancestors, screaming

throughout the skies, to someday cost us all.

But who could ever comprehend the entire

price would be administered to our whole race?

Would it not be better to kill everyone,

than to rob us of all the skies and wind?

The babies’ hands lie limp and so forlorn

I sometimes cannot tell the live ones from the dead;

I lost all my wives to this journey, and they

grew so weary of life they now have no strength

after death to speak any words to me.

I suffer the cold, I exist in torn blankets

aside the greatest river; I suffer the snow

and the hunger, all this, but it seems too hard

to listen to this silence from the dead ones.

I see a crow wobbling above the gray waters . . .

even this bird studies me before it speaks.

“Human cunning is worthless,” says the black wing,

“when it is necessary to fly . . . and you will live and live

but never again understand the wind.”

I find I cannot turn my eyes from the icy water,

even though the crow wants to taunt me more.

I must learn to endure until I can discover how

to become one of the vocal dead.

 

 Trail of Tears mapAfter gold deposits were discovered in tribal territory, the state of Georgia, in 1828, outlawed the Cherokee government, and moved to confiscate Cherokee lands. Cherokee appeals to President Andrew Jackson were rejected. In 1832, the Supreme Court ruled in the Cherokees’ favor, yet federal authorities ignored the decision. Most of the tribe—18,000 to 20,000 members—were forcibly evicted in 1838 and endured the three-hundred-mile march generally known as the Trail of Tears. The Cherokees, calling the forced march the Trail Where They Cried, lost over 4000 people who perished due to hunger, disease, exhaustion, and exposure.

Last week’s blog post

history of souls second edition

history of souls by Ward Kelley.

Author, poet, and lyricist Ward Kelley is now offering a second version of "history of souls". This book offers poetry that encompasses a number of themes:

Magical realism: Literature that looks at fables, myths, and allegory in the rational world.

Reincarnation: The philosophical and/or religious concept that the soul or spirit, after death, can begin a new life in a new body to learn new experiences and gain knowledge.

Metaphysics: A traditional branch of philosophy concerned with nature of being and the world that surrounds it.

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